Psychology, B.A. (Liberal Arts)

Program Code: PSYBA_BA

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the PSYBA major, a student at any location must have:

  1. attained at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average;
  2. completed PSYCH 100 with a grade of C or better;
  3. completed STAT 200 or PSYCH 200, at least 3 credits of GQ courses (not including STAT 200), and at least 3 credits of GS courses (not including PSYCH 100) with a grade of C or better.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a minimum of 123 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 13
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 47

6 of these 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 6 credits of General Education GQ courses.

3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)

Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

 
Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 105Psychology as a Science and Profession3
PSYCH 301WBasic Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYCH 490Senior Seminar in Psychology3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits of GQ courses6
PSYCH 200Elementary Statistics in Psychology Keystone/General Education Course4
or STAT 200 Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 12 credits of 200-level PSYCH courses 112
At least 3 credits must be from each group a, b, and c:
a.
Introduction to Psychology of Perception Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
Introduction to Psychology of Learning Keystone/General Education Course
b.
Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Psychology of Gender Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Personality Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
c.
Introduction to Well-being and Positive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Evolutionary Psychology
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Select 12 credits of PSYCH courses at the 400 level 212

Program Learning Objectives

Content Knowledge:

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of major psychological concepts, theories, and empirical findings
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply psychological concepts and theories to research and real life situations.
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge about the history, values, and scientific foundations of the field of psychology.*

Thinking Skills:

  1. Students will use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking in the analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of information in the scientific literature to distinguish the scientific literature from other sources.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to formulate and defend one’s own scholarly opinion based on reading, interpreting, and synthesizing psychological literature.*

Communication Skills:

  1. Students will communicate effectively (in writing and/or orally) the results of a project or internship.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively extract central points and summarize psychological research literature and to write in the format of psychological research.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to translate psychological knowledge into everyday language.*

Research Skills:

  1. Students will differentiate among the research methods used in psychology and apply the designs in evaluation or development of a research study.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret quantitative psychological data using statistics, graphs, and data tables.

Diversity and Ethical Considerations:

  1. Students will show evidence of knowledge and appreciation for cultural diversity and relativity in human.Students will experience and for the complexity of human behavior and interactions.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge, and the application of, basic principles of scientific and professional ethics
  3. Students will demonstrate sensitivity to ethical concerns and professionalism (including cultural considerations) in settings where applications of psychology and/or psychological research occur.

Career-related Skills:

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of professional options and required training for careers in the major subfields of psychology.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to identify personally-relevant career options to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

* Indicates a University Park specific learning objective

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
http://starfish.psu.edu
http://www.la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/education/majors-and-minors

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H3CAS 100, ENGL 138T, or CAS 138T3
PSYCH 100*#3PSYCH 2xx Level (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3
General Education Quantification (GQ)*‡#†3World Language Level 24
World Language Level 14General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
First-Year Seminar3General Education Social and Behavioral Science Course*#3
 16 14.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
STAT 200 or PSYCH 200*#4PSYCH 2xx level course (Group A, B, C, or Additional)*3
PSYCH 2xx level course (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3General Education Course3
World Language Level 34General Education Quantification (GQ)*‡3
General Education Course (Integrative Studies)3General Education Course (Integrative Studies)3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 17 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 105*3PSYCH 4xx level course*3
BA Knowledge Domains Course3PSYCH 301W (WAC)*4
PSYCH 2xx level course (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3BA Other Cultures Course3
General Education Course3BA Knowledge Domains Course3
Elective3Elective3
General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 4xx level course*3PSYCH 4xx Level Course*3
ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3PSYCH 490*3
PSYCH 4xx level course*3BA Knowledge Domain Course3
Elective3General Education3
Elective1Elective3
 13 15
Total Credits 123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Advising Note:

All incoming first-year students must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.

Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H3CAS 100, ENGL 138T, or CAS 138T*3
PSYCH 100*3World Language Level 24
General Education Quanitfication (GQ)‡#†3General Education Course3
World Language Level 14General Educaiton Course3
First-Year Seminar3General Education Course3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
STAT 200 or PSYCH 200*#4PSYCH 2xx level course (Group A, B, C, or Additional)*3
PSYCH 2xx level course (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3General Education Quantification (GQ)3
World Language Level 34General Education Course3
BA Knowledge Domain Course3General Education Course3
General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
 15.5 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 2xx level course (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3PSYCH 4xx level course*3
PSYCH 4xx level course*3PSYCH 301W*4
PSYCH 1053BA Other Cultures Course3
General Education Course3PSYCH 2xx Level Course (Group A, B, C, or Additional)*3
Elective3General Education Course3
 15 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 4xx level course*3PSYCH 4xx Level Course*3
ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3PSYCH 4903
BA Knowledge Domain Course3BA Knowledge Domain Course3
Elective3General Education3
Elective3Elective1
 General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
 15 14.5
Total Credits 123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Career Paths

Psychology students pursue a wide variety of careers. Many earn graduate degrees that qualify them for careers in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, social work, or other helping professions. Others work in health, business, research, school, or government settings. Many businesses seek psychology majors for their knowledge of human behavior, research methods, and data analysis.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Some psychology students pursue research-oriented doctoral degrees, entering Ph.D. programs in a variety of areas of psychology. These degrees prepare students for careers in academic, research, business, or government settings. Others pursue the practice-oriented Psy.D. degree. Masters degrees in counseling, school psychology, social work, counselor education, and other fields prepare students for a variety of practice settings. Some psychology students also prepare for health-services degrees. Law school or MBA programs are also possibilities.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
125 Moore Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-1811
ugpsychupwc@psu.edu

http://psych.la.psu.edu/

World Campus

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
125 Moore Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-1811
ugpsychupwc@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/psychology-bachelors/overview